Breast Aug, Worried I Won't Wake Up After General Anesthesia?

I am 38 and am interested in getting breat augmentation but am scared to go under GA-Im worried I wont wake up. I do have some health issues, chronic mild pancreatitis, and a possible auto immune (though not showing in lab work-I get muscle twitching and neuropathic stinging pains). Im 5'5, weigh 105 and am in great shape. Ive had to go under twilight 5 x with propofol and did fine. Im not sure what is used for GA. How safe is GA, and are their labs I could take to rule out possible complications

Doctor Answers 14

General anesthesia versus IV sedation for breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question. Both types of anesthesia can provide a safe and comfortable platform for breast augmentation surgery. It is more important that you feel comfortable with your surgeon and the surgical plan as this is ultimately what you will be remembering after the procedure.  Given your medical history, I would make sure you get medical clearance before undergoing elective surgery.

General Anesthesia worries

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“Twilight”, or IV sedation anesthesia can also be used for augmentation mammoplasty and you should discuss this with your surgeon and anesthesiologist.  I obtain full medical clearance on any of my patients who have health issues and if your internist clears you, you should be fine to go ahead with surgery. 

Jonathan Ross Berman, M.D. , F.A.C.S.

Jonathan Berman, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Worried About General Anesthesia

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This is a common concern that I hear from patients but general anesthesia is very safe when performed in the appropriate setting by a Board Certified Doctor of Anesthesia.   You will be monitored by the anesthesiologist the entire time you are in surgery, so you could not be in a better situation.  Just be sure to disclose your medical history and take the appropriate pre-operative tests that your surgeon requires.  Best of luck!

Andrew Smith, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast augmentation under general anesthesia

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I agree with the posted responses I see here about the safety of general anesthesia after proper preoperative evaluation and a board certified anesthesiologist. It is also true that most plastic surgeons perform breast augmentation under general anesthesia. I offer a different approach. It is quite possible to do a breast augmentation (and lifts and reductions) under local anesthesia with IV sedation. I have been using this approach for many years and it is smooth, safe, and comfortable. It also costs a lot less than general anesthesia and has less side effects as well as better post operative pain management (the breast doesn't need to wake up at the end of the operation). 

From a psychological perspective, you can avoid worrying about not waking up because you were never put to sleep. 

Look for a plastic surgeon who is experienced with this approach and uses it routinely. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Chronic Mild Pancreatitis, Autoimmune Disorder, and Breast Augmentation

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    General anesthesia as administered by a board certified anesthesiologist is very safe.  The pancreatitis would have to be investigated to determine how mild is mild as well as presumed etiology and current pancreatic function.  In addition, the autoimmune aspect should be more thoroughly investigated and you should be cleared by a specialist in both of these aspects.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

General anesthesia with a board certified anesthesiologist is very, very safe

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Patients are often more scared of the anesthesia than the surgery - that is why we always use board certified anesthesiologists whose only job is to take care of you - general anesthesia is safer than driving your car!

Worried about general anesthesia

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this is a common fear. We hear stories on the news about some disaster from anesthesia. However, you have to look at the data. Out patient surgery is EXTREMELY safe. Every three years, the data is published on surgery outcomes from anesthesia. The last report showed 1.14 million surgeries with about 23 deaths. Statistically, this is less than 0.002%


Your lifetime risk of dying in a car accident on the highway is about 1 in 84. which is about 1.2%


So to compare surgery to driving in your car, you are about 600 times MORE likely to die in a car than from surgery. 


Surgery of course, is NOT risk free. But it is important to put some perspective on the real risks, and basically, it is very very safe. 


Hope that helps. 


Bennett Yang, MD
washington dc


Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Your first step is important

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In this day and age, GA is safe when applied in an appropriate setting under properly qualified individuals.  However, with any elective procedure, preoperative medical evaluation should be your first step and is crucial in order to minimize the chance of complications.  Considering your fears, this should be your most important step. 

Good luck and best regards, EJB

Erwin Joseph Bulan, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon

Breast augmentation

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My anesthesioogists  almost always use propofol for their anesthetic of chioce and it works real well for breast augmentation.  I am not sure if that is good for patients with pancreatic issues, but the anesthesiologist certainly would know.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

General anesthesia concerns

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This is actually a very common fear among patients.  Although nothing I can say will completely ease your fears, I can tell you that the anesthesia is statistically the safest part of the entire procedure.  You are closely monitored by your anesthesia provider throughout the entire surgery to ensure your safety.  I hope this helps you.

Kindest regards,

Neil J. Zemmel

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.